What Your Poop Says About Your Health
Our bowel movements say more about our health than we realize. In fact, numerous books and text books are dedicated to this sole topic. One of the more recognized books that I recommend people to read if they have consistent challenges with their GI tract was written by famed doctor, Bernard Jensen, who wrote the book “Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management.” Bowel movements are not only a barometer of our overall health, but itself, when not properly managed can greatly impede nutrient absorption causing greater health challenges throughout the body. In this article I will outline 4 common bowel movements and what they may say about your health, and tips and tricks you can do to better the body’s natural detoxification pathway.
Bowel movements are hard and small or skinny
This is a classic example of constipation, and these bowel movements are generally painful or difficult to pass. Due to processed foods in our diet, side effects of many medications, a sedentary lifestyle and the lack of water in our diet, chronic constipation is the most common problem people share with their doctors. Not only is this uncomfortable, it also greatly impacts the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Individuals who suffer from chronic constipation are nearly twice as likely to develop colon cancer and other cancers of the GI system.
Bowel movements are black or red
This can be caused primarily through two different avenues 1) blood in your stools, or 2) Sulphur in your diets. Sulphur in your diet is not a big concern, and usually only manifests itself with black stools when combined with bismuth, a slightly radioactive element commonly used in many GI medications such as Pepto-Bismol. More often than not the blood in your stools is associated with hemorrhoids. However, if one is not experiencing other symptoms of hemorrhoids it may be a greater issue such as diverticulosis. To treat these issues, I’d recommend a natural wellness book dedicated specifically to those issues.
Bowel movements smell like rotten eggs
This is usually accompanied with diarrhea and in many cases, and if diarrhea is chronic, may be a result of a giardia infection. Though once thought to be only common in developing countries, more and more cases are showing up in developed countries as water systems are unable to keep up with demands. Additionally, one can also contract giardia from swimming in lakes or streams. If symptoms continue, best to seek medical advice and provide them a stool sample.
Bowel movements are loose but not diarrhea
If this lasts 1-2 days, may be a result of food poisoning. However if it is chronic, this may be attributed to celiac disease. Recently coming to light, this disease has now gained attention with approximately 1-3% of North America likely containing the aversion to the gluten protein found in many wheats, barley and rye. Due to the domestication and the genetic modification of most of the crops there has been a drastic rise in the amount of gluten in our food. This increase is what has likely created the epidemic of celiac disease. The best way to control celiac disease is through diet, limiting (or completely removing) the amount of gluten in your diet. Not only is celiac discomforting in the GI system, but is also linked to chronic pain in joints, headaches and fatigue. These later symptoms are thought to be linked to an autoimmune response coupled with poor nutrient absorption due to the exposure of gluten.
Solution to naturally improve celiac disease
- Remove gluten from diet. Though this may sound challenging there are many great cookbooks that are dedicated specifically to people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
- Supplement with natural nutrition to overcome any nutritional deficiencies you may have.
- Hydrate frequently with electrolytes to help account for water loss.
Solution to naturally improve chronic constipation
- Improve your body’s intestinal flora (bacteria living in your gut) with a daily dose of a prebiotic.
- Eat between 30-50g of fiber a day. One will find fiber from whole grains, whole fruits and whole vegetables. The key is to make sure they are whole…you should chew your fiber, not drink it (no juice).
- Jump start your bowel movements with a natural detoxifying tea.
- Exercise 30 minutes each day.
- Drink your body’s weight in ounces of filtered water each day.